Author Topic: Ascetic Rogue Mini-Handbook (Dictum Mortuum)  (Read 8839 times)

Offline jywu98

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Ascetic Rogue Mini-Handbook (Dictum Mortuum)
« on: February 20, 2013, 07:07:48 AM »
Ascetic Rogue Mini-Handbook
By James Raviolos

0.1   Introduction


Ascetic rogue is a feat from complete adventurer that combines some class features of the rogue and monk classes. It requires you to have improved unarmed strike and sneak attack, both easily attained with one level in each of your classes. To reward you for using stunning fist and not sneaking a target, the feat gives you a minor boost to your stunning fi st DC when also
delivering a sneak attack. A minor boost, but where the feat really shines is in second paragraph: your levels in rogue and monk stack for the purpose of determining your unarmed damage. That means that if you spend a single level in the monk class and a feat, your monk1/rogue19 build just got an unarmed damage of 2d10! And that's only when not using unarmed damage boosters (increasing size, using feats, etc).

For those of you that actually read the table description, yeah, that's right! It says right there that monk and rogue levels add for the purpose of determining your sneak attack dice. In this handbook I am going to assume that the feat lets you stack monk and rogue for both sneak attack and unarmed damage. You however should consult your DM for this matter. Also note that if you go with the obvious optimal choice of using one or two monk levels and the rest into rogue, you are only going to lose 1 dice of sneak attack, so it's not that big of a deal. Last but not least, ask if you can swap ascetic rogue for one of your monk bonus feats at levels 1, 2 or 6 (look at the special part of the ascetic stalker's description in complete scoundrel, page 71).
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 07:46:19 AM by jywu98 »

Offline jywu98

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Re: Ascetic Rogue Mini-Handbook (Dictum Mortuum)
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2013, 07:15:03 AM »
0.2   Attributes


Overall, without the use of various sources to reduce MAD, you are going to need quite a few stats at respectable levels (around 14). The up side is that you don't have to excel anywhere, most average scores will do. Also you will love belt of magnifi cence, as any item that boost all of your stats.

  • Strength: Your main source of damage is going to be sneak attack and unarmed damage. While this is ok to have, so that you boost your attack roll, it's not your first priority.

  • Dexterity: Your reflex saves are going to be high and it's not the most optimal way of boosting your stealth skills. However you can use this if going for a ranged character. Also, investing some points for a good initiative modifi er is not half bad.

  • Constitution: Yeap, you guessed it. This should be as high as you can aff ord and you need the boost to the fortitude save.

  • Intelligence: With rogue at 8+ and monk at 4+ skill points, you are a good skill monkey candidate. I usually end up spending my points here and intelligence is my primary stat. If you feel those skill points are ok for you, there's no point investing here.

  • Wisdom: You have the luxury of choice here. Either go unarmed with a good wisdom modifi er to boost your scouting skills and AC from monk, or wear light armor for your AC and completely forget about wisdom and stunning.

  • Charisma: This is quite useful actually, especially if you plan on using skills like diplomacy, intimidate, bluff , UMD, etc.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 07:46:10 AM by jywu98 »

Offline jywu98

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Re: Ascetic Rogue Mini-Handbook (Dictum Mortuum)
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2013, 07:17:50 AM »
0.3   Races


Note that if you use a race that doesn't have "rogue", "monk" or "any" as a favored class, you are probably going to face multiclassing penalties. Also note that any small race will nerf your unarmed damage. The best races you can pick are:

  • Human: The standard optimal race, can't go wrong here :p

  • Changeling: Awesome race, due to the popular changeling rogue substitution levels and the fact that they can change shape at will.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 07:46:03 AM by jywu98 »

Offline jywu98

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Re: Ascetic Rogue Mini-Handbook (Dictum Mortuum)
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2013, 07:26:49 AM »
0.4   Skills

  • Balance: 5 ranks will do here, to protect you when balancing from being flat-footed.

  • Bluff: 5 ranks are perfect for the synergy bonuses this skill provides (to both diplomacy and intimidate! both great skills).

  • Craft: Unless you want to fufil ll a requirement, skip this.

  • Decipher Script: You can hit 5 ranks to get the synergy bonus.

  • Diplomacy: Max this.

  • Disable Device: You have trap finding, so you can get the job done if need be.

  • Disguise: Skip this. A hat of disguise and/or changeling race will take care of your disguise needs.

  • Escape Artist: Unless your grapple check lacks, don't go for it.

  • Gather Information: No reason to max this, since you can use this untrained.

  • Hide: Candidate for maxing, if you want to act sneaky.

  • Intimidate: Max this.

  • Knowledge: Get at least 1 rank in monster identifying knowledges and 5 in those that provide cool synergy bonuses (like, say, nobility).

  • Listen: Quite good, another candidate for maxing.

  • Move Silently: This is usually coupled with hide.

  • Open Lock: With utility spells like knock, this is not needed.

  • Search: Max it if you are going to be the trap finder.

  • Sense Motive: 5 ranks will do for the synergy bonuses.

  • Spot: Max it.

  • Tumble: Spend some ranks until you hit 15 or 25.

  • Use Magic Device: Max it.

Offline jywu98

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Re: Ascetic Rogue Mini-Handbook (Dictum Mortuum)
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2013, 07:36:55 AM »
0.5   Class Features

0.5.1    Monk

  • Flurry of Blows: Flurry of blows is a nice ability when flanking someone, so you can get more sneak attack dice. The alternative to this is decisive strike, which is obviously better to characters build around attacks of opportunity. If you encounter enemies immune to your sneak attacks, decisive strike may be better. An added bene fit is that it is also usable in armor and boosts your stunning DC even further.

  • Evasion: Although it's a cool ability, chances are, you are not going to keep this, especially if exemplars of evil is in the allowed sources. The alternative class feature Invisible Fist is just too good to pass by, enabling you to turn invisible as an immediate action for 1 round every 3 rounds, and thus making sneak attacking without any help possible. Since you are getting evasion from rogue anyway, if you can't select invisible fist, just go with spell reflection.

  • Evasion: Stunning fist is probably the best option for your first level bonus feat. The main point is that although the benefi t is minor, you get a scaling DC according to your level, not your monk class level. Soulwarp strike is also good, if you are ok using it only 2-3 times a day. I'd never pick draconic fi st. For your second level bonus feat, the best option is to convince your DM to let you swap it for ascetic rogue, as you probably read earlier.
0.5.2    Rogue

  • Trapfinding: I find it useful, but I personally dislike being the person responsible for fi nding and disabling traps, because that means that I have to dedicate at least 2 skill points per level to disable device/search skills. If you share my point of view, you can get Mimic from exemplars of evil if you are a human or the fi rst changeling rogue substitution level otherwise.

  • Evasion: Here you've got some options. Staying with evasion is ok, although if you get the improved evasion special abilty, it is pointless. Feign death is a cool ability as a safety measure or in case you want to infi ltrate a morgue :p. Spell reflection is an awesome ability, too.

  • Trap Sense: Swapping this for penetrating strike is probably the best option, which lets you sneak attack targets normally immune with 1/2 your dice, but only when flanking. Quick fi ngers is not especially useful.

  • Uncanny Dodge: Disruptive attack is strictly better because when full attacking you can gain the benefi t for the rest of your attacks, too, by giving up only one attack's sneak attack dice.

Offline jywu98

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Re: Ascetic Rogue Mini-Handbook (Dictum Mortuum)
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2013, 07:43:07 AM »
0.6   Feats

  • Knowledge Devotion: Good feat that gives you at least +1 to attack and damage for each of your knowledges. Monk gives you arcana and religion, rogue gives you local. The feat provides you with an additional knowledge as a known skill. This fits very well with the minor lore feature of the changeling rogue alternative class features.

  • Imperious Command: Again, this is a fairly powerful feat that relies on your skill ranks. Max out intimidate and you can take care of a single enemy by demoralizing him. In the same book with this feat, the fearsome armor enhancement is a very good asset, requiring just a move action to demoralize.

  • Snap Kick: It's an extra attack, especially useful after using invisible fist alternative class feature.

  • Carmendine Monk: It reduces your MAD, linking your monk abilities to Int. This helps out a lot, especially if you are fond of using your stunning fist and wearing no armor, while keeping your skills (and many of your skill modifi ers) high. As an added benefi t, you get a +2 level boost to some of your monk abilities.

Offline jywu98

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Re: Ascetic Rogue Mini-Handbook (Dictum Mortuum)
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2013, 07:45:43 AM »
0.7   Items

  • Scorpion Kama: This item is a gem from Magic Item Compendium. Its base damage is your unarmed strike damage if it is higher. Basically it's the best way to make use of weapon enhancements (like greater dispelling, collision, vampiric).

  • Ghost Shroud: A deflection bonus and the ability to aff ect incorporeal creatures with your attacks for the low price of 5000 gp.

  • Belt of Battle: Invisible fist + belt + full attack, or whatever really. The initiative bonus is an icing on the cake.